Stress - negative stress, that is - is not a bogeyman lurking in the dark corners of the office, but is very much a condition with causes, shape and symptoms.
Consider this scenario: you are sat at your desk, you have an important project deadline looming at close of business today, which you and your colleagues have been straining towards for an entire week. Long days, short nights, breakfast on the hop, snacks and sandwich-lunch at the desk, late dinners, loads of coffee to keep you awake, water only when you think of it… does this sound familiar?
How does your body react to this pressure? Maybe somewhat like this: your head is peering forward, neck craned and extended, your shoulders thrust both up and forwards, your rib-cage compressed as your back hunches forwards, your lower back and pelvis compressed into the cushion of your chair, and maybe even your legs are crossed to relieve some pressure in the lower back, or even buy another quarter of an hour’s work before you have to rush to the loo…
Then add the layer of uneven muscle tension: hyper-tight in the back of the neck, chest, abdominals and groin area, stretched and weak across the middle and lower back. Finally throw in tiredness, angst and dehydration, stir, shake and make a sudden innocuous jerky movement… and there’s your sudden sharp shock of pain!
Additionally, over time, poor desk posture laced with stress will affect your cardio-respiratory system, your digestion, blood circulation, fertility… to name but a few items.
Osteopathic treatment is highly effective at addressing the symptoms of body stress at any point in time. However the real challenge is to manage these symptoms more enduringly, whihc entails looking at stress from a wider and mor multi-disciplinary perspective - this thought has largely shaped the way in which we help and support our patients.
So that beyond "upfront" osteopathy, you might expect Bridge to Health therapists to contribute to any of the following in the fight against work stress:
- Context-relevant exercises at work and at home – e.g. http://workplace.bridgetohealth.co.uk/exercises/exercises-at-work-sitting/ (password: flex)
- Relaxation and visualisation exercises
- Ergonomics advice involving not only the layout at the workstation, but the layout of that workstation in relation to general office layout and to colleagues one works with – aka “social ergonomics"
- Nutrition and hydration advice – interacting with Emily Fawell in Ealing and Giulietta Durante in Uxbridge
- In specific cases of work and home stress, the interaction with a counsellor can provide the break-through – you can speak to Deborah Kerr in Ealing or Monica Varo or Juliusz Wodzianski in Uxbridge
- Osteopathy and massage maintenance treatments at intervals of three to four months to stem the “same causes produce same effects” syndrome
- We also offer our corporate clients seminars on stress management to encourage a better understanding and management of the effect of stress in the workplace